By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Marlborough-The annual Memorial Day parade, honoring veterans, active duty military men and women and those who have given their lives in service to our country, will take place Monday, May 27, starting at 10 a.m. Participants will assemble on lower John Street, off Route 85, proceed to Main Street and stop at war memorials along the parade route, concluding at Monument Square at Mechanic Street.
Participating in the parade will be local veterans, Mayor Arthur Vigeant, members of the City Council, Marlborough High School and Middle School bands, scout troops and other supporting organizations.
“All local veterans” organizations have been participating in events for the annual observance,” said Michael Ferro, president of the Marlborough Veteran's Council. “We have participated in Memorial Day assemblies at Richer, Jaworek, Whitcomb and Kane schools and are visiting grave sites and placing flags and floral wreaths in honor of our deceased servicemen.”
Robert Page, commander of the Disabled American Veterans, Marlborough Chapter, and the parade coordinator, will introduce state Rep. Danielle Gregoire, D-Marlborough, as keynote speaker, Vigeant, and state Sen. Jamie Eldridge, D-Acton during the program at Monument Square.
While her keynote address will revolve around the war on terror and the recent events of the Boston Marathon bombings, Gregoire will also pay special tribute to her two grandfathers – a Navy sailor on the USS Bennett, who survived a kamikaze attack on his ship, and a World War II Army veteran who served in the South Pacific.
Among the city's monuments and war memorials visited along the parade route is the Sgt. John P. Colleary Monument, named for a local soldier who died during World War I. The local VFW post is named in his honor. There are two monuments at City Hall, honoring the 76 servicemen and women who died during World War II, 14 during the Korean War, and six in Vietnam. The Doughboy Monument honors 37 Marlborough WWI servicemen “who answered their nation's call and made the ultimate sacrifice during the “War to end all wars.””
The Spanish-American War Monument, located near the library, commemorates the 12 men who died fighting in Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. The Civil War Memorial at Monument Square was erected for “the 91 servicemen who died during this nation's long and bloody Civil War.”
“Being active in veterans’ activities in the city is very rewarding,” said Ferro, who has served eight years in the Army National Guard. “I have lived in Marlborough all my life and have found that the city really supports veterans and local veterans support those who are in nursing homes. We visit them regularly, bring food and help in any way we can to make their lives more comfortable,” he said.
In keeping with Memorial Day tradition in Marlborough, there will be a memorial service at the First United Methodist Church, 52 Church St., Sunday, May 26, at 11 a.m.